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Constipation, a common problem, can be rectified with some care.


If the first metabolic function of the day is an ordeal, it is definitely not a bright start. Well, everybody would have experienced constipation sometime in life but if it is of frequent occurrence, it is both a physical and mental discomfort.

If one needs to strain to pass stool or one clears the bowels less than once in two days, it is termed as constipation. The gastro intestinal system contains about nine metres of gut with varying functions all along. Amongst the last part of the system is colon, which is the place where most of the water and salts essential for the body are absorbed. The food moves along in the intestines due to the smooth muscles that contract and relax, constituting a function called peristalsis. This function could be disturbed due to various reasons.

Over a period of time, ignoring the urge to pass stool leads to constipation. Another effect of today's food habits such as consumption of fast foods is that they do not contain the beneficial fibre essential to keep the intestines in motion.

Some causes

Any decreased production of thyroid hormone, increased production of parathormone (essential for calcium metabolism) and increased levels of progesterone and oestrogen during a menstrual cycle have known to cause constipation though for a little while.

Colon could be affected with some diseases, which can thereby affect the muscles and nerves that can interfere with its function.

People with a tendency for constipation from childhood have been known to have inertia or hypo activity of the smooth muscle of the colon. Certain drugs used extensively have been known to cause constipation and that is enough reason to take the dosage as suggested by a doctor. When constipation is of sudden and acute onset and associated with abdominal pain, loss of weight, or change in the colour of the stool, it needs evaluation.

The frequent straining at stool usually leads to bleeding from the rectum due to haemorrhoids and sometimes pain due to anal fissures. Appetite is also disturbed since even consuming small amounts of food can cause bloating sensation of abdomen.

Prevention and treatment

* Drinking a lot of water is necessary for proper digestion and bowel movement.

* Food rich in roughage and derived from whole wheat or cereals is ideal.

* Stew or rasam with vegetables is good to keep constipation away.


When such measures are of no help, then turn to homoeopathic medicine. If constipation is caused by change in lifestyle, it can be corrected by Nux vomica. When the urge itself is inefficient with inertia of the colon, Alumina helps. If there is constriction of the rectum as well, Silicea and Plumbum might help.


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